Activist Mutemi wa Kiama has been released on a Ksh 500,000 cash bail as police continue investigations into alleged cybercrime offenses.
The Activist, who was arrested on Tuesday, and appeared before the courts on Wednesday, was also ordered to stay off social media.
Creating public notice
The police arrested Mutemi for allegedly creating public notice posters of President Kenyatta and his Deputy, William Ruto. In the notices, Mutemi had warned international financial institutions against negotiating loan agreements with the two.
Mutemi’s arrest led to the #ReleaseMutemi, which trended for a better part of Tuesday evening and Wednesday.
Aside from the cash bail and keeping off social media, he is also to report to the investigating officer’s office daily for the next ten days.
Detention request denied
Kiama, on Wednesday, appeared before the Milimani Law Courts, where the prosecution had then sought to hold him for 14 days as they completed investigations.
However, Milimani Senior Magistrate, Jane Kamau, decline the request, saying they had no compelling reason to warrant the detention.
“The Prosecution has failed to show that Kiama needs to be physically present during the investigations.”
She also said that they would mention the cases on April 17th for further orders.
According to Citizen, the Investigation officer, Patrick Kibowen, said in an affidavit that they were probing him for possible offenses under the Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Act No.5 of 2018.
A loud threat to Kenyans
Kibowen said that the posters’ publication amounted to false publication, which was contrary to the law. He also said that they suspected that Mutemi wa Kiama worked with others whom they were pursuing.
Following Mutemi’s release on cash bail, netizens were up in arms, stating that the excessive cash bail was equivalent to the gagging of activists.
“That bail is a loud threat to all Kenya social media users; criticize the government at your own risk! Dark days ahead,” Boniface Mwangi tweeted.
The police don't have any evidence that Kiama committed any crime, they're still investigating. How then does a magistrate ask Kiama to post a cash bail of 500,000?That bail is a loud threat to all Kenya social media users,criticise the government at your own risk!Dark days ahead pic.twitter.com/B3kKpxqIr6
— Boniface Mwangi (@bonifacemwangi) April 8, 2021
Defenders Coalition is raising cash bail for @MutemiWaKiama. To support, Paybill number 810896
Enter account No( Your name). @DefendersKE champions the safety, security and wellbeing of Human Rights Defenders. You can read more about their work here https://t.co/ieA4EORtCD https://t.co/0FHxq1bDo6
— TheNortherner (@alaminkimathi) April 8, 2021
Meanwhile, folks who actually stole money have the freedom to go on National TV and tell us stories about walking outside buildings https://t.co/q07dHgKodw